Every once in a while, a seemingly simple book comes along that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page. The Snow Child is one of those books. Set in the wilderness of Alaska, a middle aged couple struggles to survive so many things…the elements, each other. They arrived young and full of hope, but the rough lifestyle of 1920’s Alaska has taken its toll. Still childless and searching for the meaning of who they are, they rekindle a part of their younger selves during the first snow of the season, and build a snow child…but in the morning, the scarf and hat are gone, only footprints going one way remain. Here begins Eowyn Ivey true art as a storyteller. She has you vacillating between reality and fantasy. Is this a figment of imagination or does this ‘snow child’ really exist? Ivey takes us on a complicated, yet simple journey. I think about the first scene of the book and am awed by the fact that this is her first novel!
February 2012 Indie Next List
“This love story, set in Alaska, is really a love story about Alaska. Ivey describes the achingly beautiful landscape without making it seem an easy place to live. Based on an old fairy tale, this is the story of a childless couple who make a snow child one evening only to find a real little girl the next day. As the girl grows through the years, we know that this enchanting story will have the twists that we have come to expect with tales that teach us lessons about life. Friendships, marriage, parenthood, and survival -- all set in an unforgiving but entrancing landscape. I loved it!”
— Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
About the Author
Eowyn LeMay Ivey was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. She received her BA in journalism and minor in creative writing through the honors program at Western Washington University, studied creative nonfiction at the University of Alaska Anchorage graduate program, and worked for nearly 10 years as an award-winning reporter at the Frontiersman newspaper. This is her first novel.